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1/28/2003
06:27 AM
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AT&T Wireless Posts Quarterly Loss Despite Revenue Growth

Carrier posts greater-than-expected loss even though revenue was up 15%, due to expanded subscriber base.

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) -- AT&T Wireless Services Inc., one of the largest cell phone providers, Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter net loss 3 cents per share larger than analysts expected.

However, revenue surged more than 15% to $3.74 billion, as the Redmond, Wash.-based company expanded its subscriber base.

The net loss came to $131 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.28 billion, or 48 cents a share, a year ago.

The mean estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call was for a fourth-quarter loss of 2 cents a share.

Though AT&T Wireless added 705,000 subscribers in the quarter, it was a decrease of 23.9% compared with the same period last year.

Mobility operations earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 38% to $919 million in the latest quarter, thanks to revenue growth.

AT&T Wireless said it expects to report services revenue growth in the range of 5% to 7% for full-year 2003. The growth percentage for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization is expected to be in the low double-digits.

Total 2003 capital expenditures will likely come in around $3 billion.

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